Berlin – ESI at public event on migration management – Seven years after the EU-Turkey deal: a model for Europe’s border regime?
ESI's Gerald Knaus was invited to a public debate on migration management organised by medico international. The event aimed to analyse the effects and lessons of the 2016 EU-Turkey Statement and to discuss the way forward for a migration policy based on interests, solidarity, and human rights.
Gerald reminded the audience that the statement was a political agreement that aimed to reduce the number of refugees arriving in Europe from Turkey. It included several provisions, such as the EU's commitment to provide €6 billion in financial assistance to Turkey, Turkey's commitment to take back all refugees who had crossed irregularly into Greece, and the EU's commitment to speed up the processing of asylum applications from Turkish refugees.
Gerald criticised the lack of implementation of the statement by the EU, in particular the insufficient support to Greece in addressing the humanitarian crisis on the islands and the low number of relocations of people in need of protection from Turkey to other EU countries. He pleaded for stronger cooperation with Turkey based on mutual interests and trust in order to take joint responsibility for refugees. He also suggested that the EU should involve other countries such as Lebanon or Jordan in its migration diplomacy to create more legal pathways for refugees.
The other discussants were Clara Bünger (MP Die Linke and migration lawyer) and Valeria Hänsel (medico international and migration researcher). The debate was moderated by Christian Jakob (taz).